November 2, 2022

The biggest dilemma most students in Singapore have to face once they reach upper secondary is whether to study just E Math or take up A Math at the same time. If you are progressing to secondary 3 soon, making the right decision in this aspect is important as it could affect your drive and ultimately, your examination results.

But before you jump the gun, here is what you need to know about A Math and E Math, including their differences and some tips to help you nail the subjects. Keep reading to find out more and why enrolling yourself in Maths tuition in Singapore might help too!

**What is E Math?**

Elementary Mathematics, as its name suggests, aims to equip students with fundamental mathematical knowledge and skills. These help them develop lifelong competency in problem-solving, communication and reasoning.

E Math is compulsory for all students in Singapore and getting a passing grade is necessary to advance into higher tertiary education.

**What is A Math?**

Additional Mathematics takes students a step further, where they are trained to build a strong foundation in algebraic manipulation and mathematical reasoning skills. Students will be taught how to connect ideas within Maths to solve more challenging problems, helping them to appreciate more abstract concepts that can be applied to other subjects such as Physics and Biology.

While A Math is not compulsory for all students in Singapore, it is usually recommended for those who have an interest in exploring wider mathematical content and concepts.

**What are the differences between E Math and A Math?**

If you are still confused about whether you should stick to E Math or take up A Math as well, these differences between the two subjects will help you make an informed decision.

**Syllabus**

As you would already be familiar with, the concepts you learn in E Math are broken into three main categories:

- Numbers and Algebra
- Geometry and Measurement
- Statistics and Probability

Under these categories, students will be taught skills and knowledge in various sub-topics like ratio and proportion, percentage, rate and speed, functions and graphs and many more.

E Math may be more suitable for students who are confident that they want to pursue an education or career in humanities, arts and languages in the future as it equips them with the necessary fundamental skills. Additionally, H1 Maths offered in junior college will especially be useful for students who did not study O-Level A Math, because it is an opportunity for them to learn important mathematical concepts and skills in algebra and calculus that were taught in A Math.

Although some syllabi in A Math overlap with those in E Math, the concepts you learn and have to master will naturally be more complex.

- Algebra
- Geometry and Trigonometry
- Calculus

You can expect to absorb additional information from sub-topics like quadratic functions, surds, differentiation and integration and many more.

Most students who choose to study A Math are usually ready to take on H2 Maths in junior college, as it is a prerequisite for students to have a strong foundation in advanced concepts. They are also typically sure of their future education routes such as wanting to pursue maths, sciences, engineering and related courses. A Math serves as a stepping stone for these students so they can take up H2 Maths, which is designed to prepare students for a range of university courses where a good foundation in maths is required.

If you are planning to enrol in a polytechnic, excelling in both E and A Math is still crucial. Some courses take into account your E or A Math scores as part of the ‘relevant subjects’ needed for admission. But even if you do not wish to study a course that specialises in Maths, getting a passing grade is still a requirement for many Polytechnic courses.

**Complexity**

There is a common consensus that A Math is usually more difficult, whereas E Math is easier to master. This is because answers for A Math questions are not as straightforward while E Math requires students to be more logical in their thinking.

However, some students find A Math less challenging since questions can be quite systematic and E Math questions are sometimes notorious for being rather creative.

Thus, consider giving some A Math questions a try to decide if it is for you before making your final decision. Alternatively, speak to your teacher or tutor at a Maths tuition centre to seek advice on whether taking up A Math will be beneficial for you.

**Availability**

The most obvious difference between E Math and A Math is that the former is offered to students throughout their entire secondary school journey, while the latter is only available for selection from secondary 3 onwards.

The amount of time (4 years vs 2 years) you have to study these two subjects may affect your ability to excel in them, so this is a factor to consider. If you find that your hands are already full with just studying E Math, perhaps it would be a more feasible idea to get in touch with a maths tuition centre in Singapore to enquire more about the scope and depth of A Math before making a decision. Tutors will be able to help you weigh the pros and cons so you can make a more informed decision.

**What are some tips for studying E Math and A Math?**

Although E Math and A Math have their differences, they share pretty similar tips when it comes to excelling in the subject. Here are some you can consider trying:

**Enrol yourself in****Maths tuition**

If you are currently struggling with E Math or want to get some extra help to make the transition into A Math easier, consider enrolling yourself in Maths tuition in Singapore.

Regardless of whether you enrol in physical classes or online tutoring, the tutors will be able to help you identify your weaknesses and come up with a suitable plan to get you back on track as soon as possible.

Getting external help may be more beneficial, as you can make use of the time to clarify your doubts and get one-on-one guidance.

Learn more: Ways To Tell Whether Online Tutoring Is Right For Your Child

**Write in clear handwriting**

Ensure your handwriting is neat and legible to avoid marking errors that can result in precious marks being deducted. Pay special attention to how you write numbers, such as 6 and 8, as they can look similar when written in a hurry.

**Avoid making careless mistakes**

Some common careless mistakes students make in E Math and A Math includes rounding off to the wrong decimal place and forgetting to include the negative sign. Math tutors will also impart strategies to students and equip them with notes that are great revision materials to help them identify possible areas of careless mistakes to avoid making them.

**Make sure you excel in at least one Maths subject**

As Maths is one of the core subjects that every tertiary institution looks at, making sure you do well in at least one Maths subject is essential to help you progress from secondary school to tertiary education.

Consider enrolling yourself in A Math or E Math tuition to get the help you need.

**Know what you need to show in your workings**

Many a time, students focus on shortcuts when using the calculator and end up not including essential workings in their answers. Make sure you know what you need to show in your workings so that you do not miss out on any of them, resulting in losing method marks.

**Maths tuition in Singapore at CalibreMath**

Here at CalibreMath, we offer Maths tuition for students ranging from primary to secondary school.

Our tutors are experienced in imparting knowledge through E Math and A Math tuition to help students achieve their best potential.